Why have our crime fighting efforts paid so little dividend?

In business one of the favorite buzzwords especially when new management takes over is “low hanging fruit”.  The idea is you go after these things that are considered easy to do, cost very little in most cases, but give big returns.

Just recently the former government and then the JLP decided that the best way to spend money, is to provide cops with body camera. Why would a country with such little resources to address crime seek to fit cops with body cams, what benefit can we expect to get from such expenditures and how will this aid the crime fighting effort.

Part of the reason our “efforts” leads so little reward, is our resources are far too often directed in the wrong areas, with very little critical analysis being done, or it is ignored when done to satisfy someone’s ego.

The present Minister of Security Bobby Montague, will fail like the many others before him, because he has no plan or is likely to use old existing plans which have proven to be major failures.

We speak about fixing the justice, system but what does that mean, that is too broad a term to get to the real problems that needs to be fixed.

Firstly the entire structure of the police force does not lend itself to effectively fighting crime, so right away we begin the process on the wrong foot.

There has been talk of strategic reform of the police force, but this will not be supported by the higher echelon of the force, why. Well if I joined the force  at 18 and have worked my way up, earned one or two degrees on the way, I want a chance to be ACP, DCP or COP, so hell no, i will now support any move to rob me of that opportunity , I simply will not.

If the top members of an organization have no interest in the re-engineering of the organization for their own selfish reason, it will never happen and that is where the JCF has found itself. No one who comes up the rank in the JCF will ever be able to bring about real change, so we are virtually ” dead in the water”, or are we?

The entire JCF needs to be dismantled and a new organization formed along these lines.

  1. We have three counties and therefore need a Deputy Commissioner of police for  each county.
  2. Each of these DCP’s report to the COP
  3. Below these you have a single Superintendent of police for each parish in these counties.
  4. Everyone else is a either a detective or an officer,whose pay will be based on years of performance and years of service.
  5. All new persons entering the JCF must be given a minimum of 18 months training in law enforcement activities, after which the spend  another 18 months of specialized training in some of the following areas.
    1. Crime scene containment and protection.
    2. Forensics science, how evidence gathering can contaminate the very evidence you are collecting.
    3. Ballistics science, gun firing and testing, projectile angle to determine position of shooter with respect to the victim.
    4.  Front line detective work.
    5. Domestic affairs management, how to deal with domestic matters.
    6. Traffic , rules regulation and enforcement
    7. Building a dossier to bring case to court , what evidence must be gathered, how it must be gathered.
    8. Witness interrogation without badgering the witness. How to make witness comfortable to speak.
    9. Confidentially , how to protect witness and witness statement from possible compromise. Video taping of witness statement and protection of such evidence .
    10. Wire tapping, do’s and don’t.
    11. Surveillance without detection.
    12. How to investigate alleged acts of corruption within and external to the force.
    13. How to conduct high profile investigation before making an arrest and or going public
    14. Interacting with members of the public, community policing
    15. Riots  etc, how to act and react
    16. Hostage situation, open or in a confined space
    17. Special Weapons and Tactical Team

We can no longer have a police unit that is so hierarchical in structure that nothing gets done as people jostle for positions . We need to flatten the structure and broaden the skills through training.

When a cop leaves the training school, not only will he/she have the basic rudimentary training , but they will come out will some specialized skills to address the various needs of the Jamaica society .

This transformation is a must along with a name change if our security forces are to gain any success in addressing various crime matters in the country.

More to come…


You don’t need to have the physical weapon to solve a murder case

Every gun manufacturer by law must fire each gun made and keep a ballistic record of each gun  along with matching serial number.

In addition to that the trace-ability system requires that all guns made and sold must be recorded by the manufacturer and the gun dealer.

Most of the guns in Jamaica ( licensed and unlicensed ) originates from the USA, where those rules are strictly enforced .

There was a recent case on the Island of Jamaica, where a suspect was freed partly due to the fact that there was no forensic evidence to tie him to a murder and the main witness was said to have recanted on earlier statements.

This week we got news that the file associated with the former suspect was missing just ahead of the case for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition amongst other charges.

Let’s go back to the forensic evidence however, given we heard that the same spent shell signature was found at the scene of a double murder back in 2009/2010 so we have a serial killer on the loose.

So the local cops had( not sure if that has gone missing too) the ballistic signature of the spent shell in the Mais murder case as well as that of two additional murders.

The local cops can work with the FBI through the local office, who will then make contact with the ATF in the USA to try and determine the serial number of this gun, which then can be traced all the way back to the final purchasers locally.

Recall I said the gun manufacturer has on record the ballistic signature of each gun it makes as well as the serial number as well as the primary dealer to which it was sold. This primary dealer must retain a record to the seller overseas in Jamaica to which the gun was sold.

The local deal must too maintain a record of all gun sales in Jamaica and to whom those guns were sold.

Cops contact local dealer of gun, local dealer provides information on overseas supplier, local cops pass this information to local FBI office, who in turn passes it unto the ATF. ATF does its check sends info back to the FBI, who in turn passes this on to the local cops.

So as you can see above, you can link the gun to the owner, without the need to have the physical weapon , all it required is a little effort on the part of local investigators.

Nothing prevents this from still taking place before the ballistic report as well as firearms records in Jamaica goes missing.

Linking the gun to the owner does not necessarily solve the problem, since you still need to prove that the owner of the gun was in possession of the gun on the night of the murder, which too could have been solved by cell phone information , plus information from the inboard satellite tracking system  from the vehicle, which can be obtained from BMW itself.

News has since emerged that the person acquitted was in fact not the shooter and it was a related party, which means that the murder case is still active and that person can in fact  be arrested and charged for murder provided we can find forensic data to tie him to the scene, which would be difficult but not impossible if you have a crack team of investigators aided by FBI  profilers and investigators which are currently here in Jamaica.

So the first step is to get the forensic evidence, then bring in the “new” suspect for questioning  have FBI profilers, Interrogators and ATF experts being part of the team aiding the local cops ( the have no legal jurisdiction here but can help local cops) . The USA EXPERTS plus the fact that the new “suspect” is likely an American citizen can use their expertise to drill this suspect into submission and get the desired outcome we need.

So the K Mais murder case is far from over, all it needs is a bit of ingenuity and follow my advise above.


I am not a law enforcement officer or is associated with any law enforcement team in Jamaica or overseas.









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